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Bradshaw’s Guide

A descriptive guide to

Isle of Wight

Map of the Isle of Wight.

This beautiful island is divided into two parts by the river Medina, or Cowes, which rises in the south, and enters the sea at the town of Cowes, opposite the mouth of Southampton Bay. The south-east coast is edged with very steep cliffs of chalk and freestone, hollowed into the caverns in various parts, and vast fragments of rock are scattered along the shore. The south-west side is fenced with lofty ridges of rock, and the western extremity of them called the Needles. Among the products are a pure white crystalline sand; of the latter, great quantities are exported for the use of the glass works in various parts.

The island is accessible by way of Portsmouth, Southampton, or Lymington, from which places there are steamers to Ryde, Cowes, and Yarmouth respectively; the first two are more convenient for Ventnor and the back of the Island; the last for Freshwater and the Needles.

Supposing Ryde to be the starting point, two routes will take in almost everything in the island, which a hasty visitor would care to see. Those who desire to make a real acquaintance with all its attractions may spend many pleasant weeks in it, finding new walks every day.

The best part of the first or eastern route may be done by means of the Ryde and Cowes coaches in one day, for 9s. or 10s.; or fly to hold four may be had for a guinea a day. No coach travels the western route, which is much to be lamented, as there is no question that a drive over the Downs on this side of the Island (supposing a good road to be made), would be one of the most splendid imaginable.

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